If you've ever caught yourself staring wistfully at your old travel photos while simultaneously trying to prevent a Lego disaster zone in your living room, then this article about solo travel ideas for women is for you.
I'll tell you a secret: Solo travel isn't just for carefree college students or backpack-toting twenty-somethings - it's for us multitasking mothers too!
As someone who's gone from orchestrating the chaos of family trips to braving the world alone, I'm ready to dish out some budget-friendly solo travel ideas tailored to women like us.
Sure, the thought of leaving behind the pile of laundry that rivals Mount Everest might seem daunting, but a solo escapade is like hitting the refresh button on your sanity. Think of it as your own Eat-Pray-Love adventure.
I'm going to share seven fabulous solo travel ideas that won't make your wallet weep, or your kids stage a mutiny.
Camping or campervan adventures
First up in our list of solo travel ideas for women is camping or campervan adventures.
If you've been camping with the kids all these years, you will love getting to enjoy the peace and quiet of living in nature on your own.
As a solo camper, you don't even have to think of activities to keep things fun. You can hike whenever you want, swim in a lake, eat whatever you like, read a book in peace, or even sleep all day.
Of course, camping on your own can be scary. Here are some reminders to stay safe when camping alone:
- Share your camping plans with a trusted friend, including your exact routes and schedule
- Make sure there are cell services where you are
- Keep a first aid kit in handy (and learn how to use it)
- Pack light
- Pack more than you need, in case of emergency
Looking after someone else's house may not be what you consider a holiday. Are you not going on this solo trip to get away from your responsibilities at home? But don't snub house sitting - because it means free accommodation.
I'm a mum who loves my house, so I'm more comfortable staying in an Airbnb than a hotel. House sitting is an even better option, since I have all the furniture and appliances I need and don't have to pay anything.
Aside from staying for free, you can also explore the neighbourhood and experience the local culture firsthand. You get to experience how exactly a family lives in an area. You might even meet the neighbours which is nice if think you'll get a bit lonely.
Further reading: 8 Great reasons to house swap for a cheap holiday.
An off-season package holiday
An off-season package is an affordable way to travel. You can still go around all the beautiful destinations, minus the holiday crowds and prices. I always plan my solo vacations during off-peak months to save a lot of money.
If you plan to spend your short vacation locally, the cheapest time to go around Australia is during the shoulder season (February to April and September to November).
Travelling in winter (June to August) is even cheaper here in Australia, since tourism is almost dead during these months. If you're okay with going out in the cold, consider adding off-season holidays to your arsenal of solo travel ideas for women.
A solo cruise
As a mum who loves the seas, a solo cruise has been one of my favourite solo travel ideas for women for years. A solo cruise is definitely a breath of fresh, salt air.
I managed to tick it off my bucket list with a 7-day cruise when my youngest daughter finished high school, and I was finally alone at home. But if you still have young kids you can't possibly leave behind for long, you can find cruises for three, four, or five days.
If you didn't know, cruises are not limited to lounging on a ship and drinking wine, as the movies portray. You can find snorkelling and scuba diving cruises, or sail over the beautiful Great Barrier Reef overnight.
If you're searching for solo travel ideas for women that let you do something good for others, why not give volunteer travel programs a try?
Volunteer travel is taking a trip to participate in opportunities to help others. The biggest issue for us mums when it comes to volunteering is finding short-term programs. After all, taking an extensive leave from our responsibilities at home is not an option. If you only have a few days or a week max to go on a volunteering trip, you're better off looking for opportunities within Australia or your state.
Several short-term volunteer travel possibilities are worth exploring, such as getting involved in literacy initiatives or construction projects (like building schools and homes). Additionally, some volunteer travel programs offer compensation to help cover your expenses. For instance, you could be paid for assisting with animal care or farm tasks for a week.
A biking a holiday
If you're one of the 95% of Australians who rides a bike, you'll love this next entry on our solo travel ideas for women.
Excluding getting a bit of time off your daily schedule, cycling has so many benefits. It's good for your body, boosts your mood, and increases your strength and stamina. You also enjoy spectacular biking routes and possibly meet new like-minded friends.
Plus, if you already have some clothes and a suitable bike for your chosen route, cycling can be a relatively cheap activity. For one, you will spend less on transportation to enjoy a nice view.
Further reading: Is the Sunshine Coast a good holiday destination.
Last on our list of solo travel ideas for women is hostel-hopping. Hostels are a cheaper alternative to hotels and Airbnb, so they're popular among the curious and fearless crowd.
Staying in hostels is not just cheaper. Here, you get to meet people from different places and cultures. You also get to experience the unique flavour of the area you're staying in for the night.
Hostel-hopping is not for the faint of heart. You usually share a room with several other people of a younger demographic. If you're uncomfortable spending the night or two with strangers, you might be more suited to a budget motel.
But if you have your mind set on this adventure, here are a few top tips to make your hostel-hopping safe:
- Leave valuable items behind.
- Rent a personal locker and acquire multiple luggage locks.
- Thoroughly review online feedback.
- Distribute your money across various hiding places.
- Rely on your intuition
My final thoughts: Budget-friendly solo travel ideas for women
Here's a secret: Solo travel isn't a privilege reserved only for carefree college students or adventurous twenty-somethings ... it's a realm suited for multitasking mums like us.
Sure, the prospect of leaving behind laundry heaps as high as Mount Kosciusko might be daunting, but embarking on a solo journey focused on self-discovery and exploration is akin to hitting the refresh button you may need.
I've shared an array of affordable solo travel concepts within this guide. Whether camping in nature, house sitting, or delving into the allure of off-season vacations, my mission is to steer you toward enriching solo exploits.
Imagine setting sail on a solo cruise, inhaling the rejuvenating sea breeze, or engaging in volunteer travel initiatives. Envision the exhilarating possibilities of a biking adventure, reaping the rewards of exercise, camaraderie, and breathtaking vistas. And don't overlook the charm of hostel-hopping for budget-conscious adventurers, where you can forge connections and savour the local culture.
I've also shared invaluable safety insights - tips for safeguarding your belongings, delving into reviews, and relying on your instincts - ensuring that your solo adventures are fun and safe.
I encourage you to seize the opportunity to embark on these pocket-friendly solo travel escapades. As you step into the world with renewed curiosity, may your solo travel be a source of enrichment, your spirit be replenished, and your memories be as vibrant as the destinations that await your adventure.